Still looking for answers ... and there are probably none
I took mom to see her doctor on Monday (Geriatrician and Memory Loss/AD doc). Since it's been a year since her last memory test, he did a "mini mental". Last year, her score was 25; this year 18. She is on both Namenda and Aricept - memory meds. He said he was very surprised to see a decline that dramatic. With patients taking both meds, they hope for numbers staying very close to 25 or in some cases, actually going above 25.
I suppose it really wasn't a surprise to me, since she's been living with us this past year and I've seen her decline. On the other hand, my sisters (2) were very surprised and even doubtful that the doctor was right. I wanted to say to them, haven't you been listening to anything I've told you? They spend so little time with her, they really don't see what I see.
The doctor did tell us the meds are not working, so she will continue to be on a steady decline, unless she has some stress, like hospitalization, in which case, she could suddenly plummet to end stage. He wants to keep her on the memory meds, because it is "believed" that these meds could stop agitation and wandering and since they are not harming her physically, we'll keep her on them.
In any case, I'd like to pose a question to you, my friends, which I probably know the answer to. I just thought that even though doctors can give us stats and their opinions based on studies and stats, I'd still be curious to hear anyone's experience with Alzheimer's and the progression of the disease. What I'd like to know is, since my mother declined so much this past year, going from a score of 25 to 18, is this an indication of how her decline will continue to progress? I do realize that she will continue to decline, that is a given, I'm just trying to figure out if it will be a rapid or slow decline. As I said, I think I know the answer to this one...no one knows...everyone goes along this journey at a different pace, but I thought I'd put the question out there and maybe some of you could share your experiences. The toughest thing for me in giving care to my mom is the not knowing; again, knowing she will decline and need more help, but not knowing what to expect next and how long will it be before she reaches end stage, etc.... the not knowing just eats at me...thanks for letting me go on a bit here...I hope everyone is doing okay...Mimi